Taira no Kinmasa (平公雅)

TAIRA no Kinmasa (date of birth and death unknown) was a busho (Japanese military commander) during mid Heian period. TAIRA no Kinmasa (with different characters, 平公正), TAIRA no Kimio, and TAIRA no Tadamochi are all said to be the same person.

He was the eldest son of TAIRA no Yoshikane, his younger brother was TAIRA no Kintsura and his children were TAIRA no Muneaki, TAIRA no Munenari, and TAIRA no Muneyori. He was Awa no kami (Governor of Awa province), Musashi no kami (Governor of Musashi province), Uemon no shojo, and Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade).


His father Yoshikane often fought with his cousin TAIRA no Masakado, and when he beat Masakado and captured and abducted Masakado's wife and children to Shimousa province, Kinmasa and his elder brother Kintsura let them go to Masakado.

Since he and his father were to be searched and caputured on the order of Kanpu, the official document issued by the Imperial court according to Kadomasa's complaint, they seem to have had a fight with Masakado frequently, however, when the father died in June 939, he became neutral by keeping his distance from TAIRA no Sadamori, who was in conflict with Masakado. When Masakado called himself the 'new emperor' and caused a insurrection in January, on February 29, 940 Kinmasa became one of the eight Kokushi (provincial governor) of Togoku (the eastern part of Japan) who were assigned to divert Masakado, and after the Taira no Masakado Rebellion was suppressed, he became the Kokushi of Awa Province.

In 942, he became the Governor of Musashi Province as a successor of FUJIWARA no Hidesato and he is known to have rebuilt Kinryuzan Senso-ji Temple in Musashi Province, which was devastated by the Taira no Masakado Rebellion.

Moreover, it is said that on March 18, 945, Kannon (Deity of Mercy) stood by Kinmasa's bed and said 'if you eat the blue, red, and black seaweeds available off this island, you will be healthy, fortunate, and earn Buddhahood in after life.'
So after Kinmasa gathered and ate those seaweeds, he found that they were tasty and healthy so he said 'it is a teaching (which is pronounced in Japanese as 'nori') by kannon so it should be called "Asakusa nori" (Porphyra tenera).'
The legend such as this is well-known.

[Original Japanese]